Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What We Ride: Kevin Madzia's Diamondback with Xtracycle

Kevin Madzia is on the full-time staff in the Peninsula store. Back in 2001, before his career at Century Cycles, he purchased a Diamondback Zetec Comp from a local bicycle shop in Pittsburgh to use for mountain bike riding and racing. Later, in 2007, he bought an upgraded mountain bike, and so recycled the Diamondback Zetec Comp by putting the Xtracycle Longtail Cargo attachment on the back of it. He now uses the bike as his full-time commuting bike, plus for grocery runs and other errands, and the occasional bike-camping trip. Kevin describes the ride:
Of course, it's not the lightest bike in the world. But once you've ridden a cargo bike, you see how addictive it is. It's super-stable, even when loaded with a lot of weight. The fat tires can handle rough conditions on any road or trail. It can hold over 200 pounds; I rarely need to carry that much weight, but it's nice to know I can. Plus, when drivers see you on a big bike like this, I think they give you a little more leeway when they pass you. The side cargo pockets let me be very flexible in how I pack the gear I need day-to-day. I keep my change of clothes for work in one bag, and wet-weather gear in another bag, and cold-weather gear in yet another bag. I can leave bags at home as needed, and not have to worry about packing and unpacking panniers every day. And it still leaves plenty of room for if I need to drop something off at the post office on the way, or take home any new parts or gear that I pick up from the shop.
The components on the bike are a mish-mash of spare parts that Kevin salvaged from other bikes over the years. The wheels have Shimano Deore hubs, WTB rims, thorn-resistant tubes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 26x2.3 tires. The drive train features a Truvativ touring crankset, Shimano Alivio front derailleur, SRAM X.4 rear derailleur, Shimano Deore cassette, and two SRAM chains. The original suspension fork was replaced with a rigid Surly 1x1 fork. Avid BB-5 disc brakes provide the stopping power. A WTB saddle, Truvativ seatpost, Dimension stem, Surly 1x1 handlebar, SRAM X.0 twister shifters, Avid FR-5 brake levers, ODI lock-on grips, and Serfas bar ends round out the cockpit.

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